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Push for human trafficking curriculum by Mayo Clinic medical student

"I think moving forward we have a responsibility on our end to help and the earlier we can train professionals to reach out, I think, the better," Jennifer Talbott, a Mayo Clinic medical student, said.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 6:47 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2020 8:48 AM

KIMT NEWS 3 - Human trafficking a growing problem around the world. One Mayo Clinic medical student is making a push for medical schools to train students on how to respond to those situations.

Jennifer Talbott is studying medicine at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine in Arizona. She found there's not a lot of research when it comes to education and human trafficking. That's why she's suggesting it be included in the curriculum.

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"I think a lot of times we have that desire and that passion, but we lack those skills," Talbott said. "So what I wanted from this curriculum and what I wanted for other students was that opportunity to practice and really get out of your comfort zone and learn about this topic."

Nearly 400,000 people in the United States are impacted. Mayo Clinic found that 88-percent of victims have seen a health care professional while they were being trafficked.

Talbott says that's why appropriate training is necessary.

"These victims are interfacing with doctors," Talbott said "I think moving forward we have a responsibility on our end to help and the earlier we can train professionals to reach out, I think, the better."

Talbott worked with faculty to develop coursework. It will train students on what to look for and provide resources.

Dr. Juliana Kling is Talbott's adviser.

"It illustrates the need for us to really work on this area," Kling said, "and to collaborate across disciplines to established a standardized curriculum to make sure that all health care professionals are getting trained to both identify but then intervene for victims of sex trafficking."

The hope is to add the curriculum to all Mayo Clinic campuses, starting in Minnesota.

The training includes simulated patient experiences and lectures.

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